E. M.’s Sunday Ramble #14

E. M. Kingston picks a topic every week, and asks us five questions about it, and we give our answers and solve all the world’s problems. Or something like that, anyway.

We have a heavy one this week: This week’s topic is “Let’s Dig A Bit Deeper“. And she says this:

I want to remind everyone that this is a safe space, and you can always speak freely in my world. I do not take personal offense to other people’s opinions. I welcome them wholeheartedly because they are your opinions to express. These questions are hard, and they will invoke feelings. You can always be honest and ramble your truth here.

Thank you, E. M., and I hope my truth doesn’t lose me any friends.

When there is so much negativity in the world, as it has been as of late, what do you do to cleanse your soul away from all of the negative stigma? I shut it out. Seriously. I go to the happy place that I’ve created, the little house on Alberta Lane, turn off the radio and the TV and avoid all temptation to look at the news sites on the Internet. I turn on some music and write. Mary and I talk about what she’s been reading and I’ve been writing. I look for the hawk that lives in the tree behind my house. I listen to the crows. Occasionally I’ll see a deer or a cat in the yard.

I know some bad shit is going on in Ukraine, and I pray for the people who live there and that cooler heads prevail, because I do care about them and might even have gone to school with some of them or their family members (St. Ignatius, the high school I attended for my freshman year, had a large population of Ukrainians). I realize the problem is bigger than I, it’s been going on for much longer that I’ve been around, and that there’s really not a whole hell of a lot I can do about it.

Do you think it is possible to break the divide in humanity with the war happening in Ukraine? (Meaning: Do you think the war will bring the people in the world back together in unity?) It’s kind of a double-ended question. It wouldn’t suit the people who benefit from the division. They want to keep us separated because it’s profitable for them. When the war in Ukraine is finished, they’ll find some other way to divide us. Trust me on that. It’s how they operate. The idea that humanity comes together on anyone’s terms but theirs scares the shit out of them, because when that happens, people start comparing notes and discover they’ve been used as pawns in an elaborate chess game, and they sure as hell don’t want that can of worms opened.

I know we are all from different places and countries, but we are all human. What are three things that need to change for you to feel safe in the current state of humanity? First, nations need to stop interfering in the business of other nations. The US might be the worst offender there, but by no means are they (we) the only one. Second, international organizations need to be investigated to see if they’re exerting undue influence on specific nations, such as interfering with the right of people to elect their leaders without outside interference, and if necessary brought to heel. Third, news organizations need to limit themselves to reporting all sides of the news, allowing their audiences to form their own opinions about it. And that’s just for a start.

For me, time has stood still since the attacks in the Ukraine. The news has been on in my room non-stop, and I try to watch it as much as possible. Have you been watching the news? If so, write the first thought that comes to mind. If you haven’t been watching the news (or do not watch it ever), how do you keep up with what is happening around the globe? I haven’t followed the news in over fifteen years, because very little of it affects me. I pick things up from social media and the headlines that are sprinkled throughout the stories I read online and the stories YouTube feeds me when I go to their site. If one seems interesting, I may look into it, but again, if it isn’t something that affects me directly, I pass it by.

Do you have someone to talk to when things get hard in your life? If not, would you like someone to talk to when things get hard? We all need someone, and I just want to make sure you are all okay or managing. I’ve got Mary, my spouse of 44 years and the best friend I ever had, and she has me. And I have all of you–well, the ones that are left after today. And I have my imaginary friends, like Blake and Rachel, Mary Cecelia and Jeanette, Julie and Lana, Kevin and Cindy, and Father Flanagan.

Now, before I let you go, let me explain something: there was a time when I cared a great deal about the news and how it affected the world. That all changed in February 2007 when a blood vessel popped in the back of my head and I spent almost two months getting over it. That changed my entire perspective on the news. I realized that 99% of the news doesn’t apply to me, and that my focus needed to be on my family, friends, neighbors, the people I worked with, and the people I went to church with. St. Teresa of Kolkata once said that if everyone swept their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean. When I heard that, I realized that taking care of those closest to me was how I could keep my doorstep clean.

We welcome replies to our editorials.

18 thoughts on “E. M.’s Sunday Ramble #14

  1. I love what St. Teresa said. Now to put that into action. I’m pretty sure you kept your friends and maybe even made some more.

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    1. I haven’t had any nasty comments… Maybe my karma is good because I don’t do it to anyone else…

      My grandmother (Mom’s mother) used to have an expression when she’d see some women out trying to save the world: “Better they be home sayin’ their beads.” Meaning, of course, they had enough to deal with at home and with the people closest to them and that they really should focus their attention on those areas. The best we can do sometimes is keep people in our prayers and put it in the hands of God.

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      1. Yes! “Sayin’ my beads”is something passed to me from both mom and dad. It’s definitely comforting. Been too long John. This is a good reminder of where I can take refuge.

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  2. I think you answered these questions so eloquently, John. I found myself nodding in agreement with you. I think many people feel as you do about every aspect of the country, news, and beyond. I am so thankful that you took the time to put your truth into the rambles. When I first made the post, I figured that this set of questions would give people a chance to say how they are feeling and heal in the middle of everything going on, so I appreciate you and your truth 🙂

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      1. I had answered them the night I made the post. I think it was Friday night before the Ramble, and I had let it all out in my post. I may turn around and write my post up again. It’s important to be able to express freely in this space 🙂 You did it beautifully!

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  3. It’s beneficial to tune things out. There is a huge reason why, during the Great Depression and WW2, Musicals and comedies were huge. people need an escape. One can only watch it for so long. I hope there is someone who will cut off the snake’s head (or in this care Bear’s). I am amazed at how the average person in Ukraine stood together as the Russians shot directly at them and they did not waver. We can’t ignore it but we can control how much seeps into our life. We must carry on just like our parents and grandparents did. Stay busy, listen to music, go out for a walk if one can and watch a good movie.

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    1. Escape is important, especially where you really can’t do anything about the situation. Spending hours watching news coverage nonstop is maybe the worst thing you can do. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, but you have to take care of yourself and the ones around you. I can see a lot of people spending hours on YouTube as an alternative to the wall-to-wall coverage.

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  4. That’s a very sensible perspective. I really have to stop checking the news, including FB and twitter where everyone is talking about [latest thing]. It’s very unhealthy…

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    1. It’s the 24/7/365 news coverage that’s so unhealthy. I think it actually causes a form of PTSD. People are spending their entire day watchig CNN or Fox News and being inundated with the terrible news. I think the news stations should spend an hour showing puppies and kittens for every hour of war news…

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